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General Information

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The Library of Congress occupies three buildings on Capitol Hill. The Thomas Jefferson Building (1897) is the original separate Library of Congress building. (The Library began in 1800 inside the U.S. Capitol.) The John Adams Building was built in 1938 and the James Madison Memorial Building was completed in 1981. Other facilities include the High Density Storage Facility (2002) at Fort Meade, Md., and the Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation (2007) in Culpeper, Va.

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Today's Library of Congress is an unparalleled world resource. The collection of more than 168 million items includes more than 39 million cataloged books and other print materials in 470 languages; more than 72 million manuscripts; the largest rare book collection in North America; and the world's largest collection of legal materials, films, maps, sheet music and sound recordings.

Year 2018 at a Glance

In fiscal year 2018 (October 2017 to September 2018), the Library of Congress ...

Responded to more than 1 million reference requests from Congress, the public and other federal agencies, including the direct use of Congressional Research Service reports;

Through the U.S. Copyright Office, issued more than 560,000 registrations and recorded 21,668 copyright ownership transfer documents containing more than 750,000 titles;

Circulated nearly 21 million copies of braille, audio and large-print items to more than 972,526 blind and physically handicapped reader accounts;

Circulated more than 958,000 physical items for use inside and outside the Library;

Performed 10.2 million preservation actions on items in the Library’s physical collections;

Recorded a total of 168,291,624 items in the collections:

  • 24,600,488 cataloged books in the Library of Congress classification system
  • 14,959,404 items in the nonclassified print collections, including books in large type and raised characters, incunabula (books printed before 1501), monographs and serials, music, bound newspapers, pamphlets, technical reports and other printed material
  • 128,731,750 items in the nonclassified (special) collections, including:
    • 4,019,643 audio materials (discs, tapes, talking books, and other recorded formats)
    • 72,512,459 manuscripts
    • 5,608,003 maps
    • 17,250,956 microforms
    • 1,834,690 moving images
    • 8,248,463 items of sheet music
    • 15,733,020 visual materials, including:
      • 14,942,941 photographs
      • 109,307 posters
      • 680,772 prints and drawings
    • 3,449,194 other items (including machine-readable items);

Welcomed nearly 1.9 million onsite visitors and recorded 114 million visits and more than 497.9 million page views on the Library's web properties

Employed 3,096 permanent staff members

Operated with a total fiscal 2018 appropriation of $669.9 million, including the authority to spend $49.9 million in offsetting receipts.

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